Apologies for being so long away from my faithful readers–all 5 of you!–and for not posting any music this weekend, but the fallout from getting the article done on Friday was brain-deadness (how’s that for a neologism), but LtL is back, and rearing for the blog stuff, so here goes:
The Mickey Mouse Police
The blogosphere–and I do believe that is the first and hopefully the last time LtL will use that word–is abuzz with the story about Disney fingerprinting visitors to the Magic Kingdom. A few links with information include Local 6.com’s brief story, The Disney Blog (which is not an official Disney site) also has a fairly neutral description of the program. For a range of responses, you can also check out a Technorati Search on “Disney fingerprinting”. I find it interesting that if you go to Disney’s website and search either “fingerprinting” or “biometrics,” you will get–surprise surprise–zero results. Basically, this system has been in place since 1996 for season pass holders, only now is it being used for all other ticket holders. According to The Disney Blog, you can refuse to have your fingers scanned and use an id instead, but visitors aren’t informed of that option.
I think the shape of the future lies in our willingness to be good, efficient consumers. We will not find ourselves in the bad old land of “Big Brother” as organized by a totalitarian government unless we go along with it. And the best way to get us to go along with giving up our freedoms, our personal spaces, and our very agency, is to offer us cheaper wares or shorter lines, or shinier toys. We are, most of us, culpable in the shrugging off of privacy issues and especially those of us who are online and who don’t read privacy notices of web services or installed software. I remember a time when I always made sure my browser was set to refuse all cookies – but as they become more and more ubiquitous in the daily functioning of my web experience, I turned them on and never looked back. At some level, I know that my personal information exceedingly accessible to anyone with either the skill or the authority who wants to get at it, but I ignore the knowledge because it is easier, and because goods and services seem to require not only our money, but our information.
I mean, hell, shorter lines at Disneyworld – who is really and truly going to complain about that? Do you think Disney will see a marked decrease in consumers of their parks? Sure, I can sit back and be smug about how this is a terrible idea and un-American and invasive and has a potential for abuse that far outweighs the benefits . . . but what about how I live my life? In what ways do I allow a consumer culture of greed and speed to infiltrate my life and my actions? And my inactions?